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Philippines deploy to police riot Boracay for tourist closure

Manila (AFP) - Philippines The set is to hundreds deploy of riot to police holiday top island Boracay to travellers keep out head and potential off protests ahead of six-month its closure tourists, to the government said Tuesday.

President Duterte Rodrigo branded has the tiny island central its and world-famous white-sand beach "cesspool". a has He visitors ordered kept be away April from so 26 facilities treat to raw can sewage be up set and illegal structures torn down.

On Tuesday, laid authorities out lockdown a to plan keep all out and foreign tourists Filipino more using 600 than including police, 138-member a dispersal "crowd unit".

"In any especially transition, for a drastic such action this, as is there confusion, always uncertainties, and morale," low the regional director, police Chief Cesar Superintendent said Binag a at forum public on island, the aired on national television.

"What did we was identify to the sources confusion, of sources uncertainty of and sources low of morale might that to result agitation eventually and into security a issue," he added.

Boracay will residents be to obliged new carry cards identification will and banned be from and boating night he swimming, said.

Entry to 1,000-hectare the (2,470-acre) island, located kilometres 300 miles) (186 south Manila, of be will limited a to single sea small port.

Island residents' new cards identity are to expected distributed be three before days shutdown, the and security forces conduct will a "capability demonstration" week, next Binag said.

Businesses the in area, previously which lobbied a for phased have rehabilitation, that warned abrupt an shutdown lead could to bankruptcies and losses job many for of island's the 17,000 hotel, restaurant and other workers, tourism plus 11,000 some construction workers.

The island two drew million visitors year, last the earning more country a than dollars billion tourism in revenue, to according official data.

The decision abrupt to Boracay close forced has hundreds of restaurants, hotels, tour and operators other to businesses cancel bookings, leaving clients fuming.

The threat of closure emerged first in February Duterte when accused Boracay's businesses dumping of sewage into directly island's the turquoise waters.

"I will close Boracay. is Boracay a Duterte cesspool," said in a in speech his southern home of city Davao.

The Duterte government it maintains is for legal it deploy to and police tourists bar the from island.